CONNECTIONS – 10/24/10

For week of October 24, 2010
Issue 327

The weekly newsletter of Path Of Life Ministries.
Our mission is to lead men to Jesus Christ and provide opportunity for Christian men to grow in their faith and minister to others.

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[Jesus said,] “‘You are the light of the world. Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.’”
Matthew 5:14-16

CONSIDER
“We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about.”
Charles Kingsley

LAUSANNE LEADER SAYS FUTURE IS BRIGHT FOR WORLD CHRISTIANITY
There are great challenges before the global church but also great opportunities, the chairman of The Lausanne Movement said Oct. 18.

Doug Birdsall told thousands of evangelicals at the opening ceremony of Cape Town 2010 that conversation on a global scale was required if Christians were to find solutions to the problems facing the world and the church today. He said there was an urgent need for the church to “be authentic” and discern effective ways of presenting the Gospel to the people of the world, particularly those of different faiths.

Birdsall said he hopes that the number of unreached people groups will be zero by the time of the next Lausanne Congress…. Read this in full at
http://www.christiantoday.com/article/lausanne.leader.says.future.is.bright.for.world.christianity/26916.htm

ATHEISM BECOMING THE NEW RELIGION, EVANGELICALS WARNED
Evangelicals heard the call Oct. 18 to be guardians of the truth in the face of widespread indifference to religion and the “denial” of Scripture within parts of the church. Carver Yu, president of the China Graduate School of Theology in Hong Kong, said that “confusing ideologies” were creating emptiness and alienation among people, while indifference to religion was “tightening its grip.” He said the recent advertising campaign by Richard Dawkins and other atheists on London buses was a perfect example of the “enthusiastic zeal” with which atheists were campaigning against Christianity and religion.

“Atheism is about to become the new religion,” he said. “Christians must preach the gospel of Jesus Christ fearlessly because he is the way, the truth, and the life. Only he can lead us away from the present state of godlessness.”

Yu was addressing more than 4,000 evangelical leaders from around the world at Cape Town 2010, the Third Lausanne Congress on world evangelization taking place in the South African city…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/article/20101018/atheism-becoming-the-new-religion-evangelicals-warned/

CAPE TOWN 2010 CYBER-ATTACKED
http://blog.christianitytoday.com/ctliveblog/archives/2010/10/more_on_cyber_a.html

THE STATE OF THE WORD IS GOOD
If frontlist publishing is a hare dashing to bestsellerdom, then Bible publishing, in the words of one publishing executive, is the tortoise, steadily plugging away toward a better bottom line.

Every publisher would like to have a big Bible or, even better, two. Around 25 million units are sold annually, by conservative estimates. More than 91% of American households own Bibles, and those households own an average of three, according to Somersault Group (http://somersaultgroup.com), which consults on digital publishing. Widespread distribution started with Gutenberg, and the Bible is today a Kindle bestseller.

The diversity and proliferation in Bible publishing that can challenge retailers and confuse consumers benefits publishers, who can roll out what seems like a limitless number of niche editions offering something for everyone. This year, Catholics and kids are target markets; a new translation is rolling out; a major study Bible releases; and digital publishing is big…. Read this in full at
http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/book-news/religion/article/44853-the-state-of-the-word-is-good.html

HOW MANY VERSIONS OF THE BIBLE DO WE REALLY NEED?
by Daniel Burke
If you stacked all the Bibles sitting in American homes, the tower would rise 29 million feet, nearly 1,000 times the height of Mount Everest.

More than 90% of American households own a Bible, and the average family owns three, according to pollsters at the Barna Group. The American Bible Society hands out 5 million copies of the Good Book each year; 1.5 billion Gideon Bibles wait in hotel rooms worldwide.

Scripture outsells the latest diet fads, murder mysteries and celebrity bios year after year. Evangelical publishers alone sold an estimated 20 million Bibles in recession-battered 2009, raking in about $500 million in sales, according to Michael Covington, information and education director of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association.

Experts say it’s nearly impossible to calculate exactly how many Bibles are sold each year. But one thing is clear: The Good Book is great for business…. Read this in full at
http://www.religionnews.com/index.php?/rnstext/how_many_versions_of_the_bible_do_we_really_need1/

STUDY: MORE LINK CHRISTIAN FAITH TO BEING AMERICAN
As the USA has grown more diverse, more Americans believe that being a Christian is a key aspect of being “truly American,” researchers say. Purdue University scholars found that between 1996 and 2004, Americans who saw Christian identity as a “very important” attribute of being American increased from 38 percent to 49%.

Scholars said the findings, published in the fall issue of the journal Sociology of Religion, couldn’t be definitively tied to a particular event but they suspect the 9/11 attacks and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan could have played a role.

“We suspect that these events accentuated the connection between Christianity and American identity by reinforcing boundaries against non-Christians and people of foreign origin,” said Jeremy Brooks Straughn, co-author of the study.

“Although we can’t be certain of the underlying causes, our data clearly show diverging attitudes between American Christians and their non-Christian counterparts here in the United States.”

Researchers found that non-Christians and those with no religious affiliation overwhelmingly rejected a link between being Christian and being “truly American.” …. Read this in full at
http://pewforum.org/Religion-News/RNS-Study-More-link-Christian-faith-to-being-American.aspx

REFORMATION SUNDAY IS OCT. 31
http://www.crivoice.org/reformationsunday.html

WHAT TO DO WITH HALLOWEEN?
Halloween is undoubtedly more misunderstood than any other holiday event. Is it hocus-pocus superstition or truly Christian focused? It can appear to be nothing more than a pagan event dreamed up by some deviant opportunist and/or candy and costume manufacturer, but All Hallows Eve was actually intended to be a righteous opportunity purposed in history past to commemorate old saints…. Read this in full at
http://www.allaboutgod.com/christian-halloween.htm

THE POWER OF A WELL-TIMED WORD
by Dr. Stan Toler
If you haven’t already, you’ll soon discover the fantastic power of words. Words can be used as bombs or bouquets. Which would you rather receive at your doorstep? A few words can be forged together and lobbed into the life of another to cause more havoc than a 2-year-old at a tea party. Conversely, words can be handed out like candy to a discouraged teammate. A timely “Thank you” or “I appreciate you” can do more good than a paycheck bonus. Words have the power to motivate and heal.

However, those words must be sincere. How will you know when communication is sincere? New Testament leader Paul said, “Let your conversation always be full of grace, seasoned with salt, so you may know how to answer everyone” (Col. 4:6). Here are some diagnostic questions to test the sincerity of your communication. Ask:
* Am I being honest without being petty?
* Will these words bring hope, help or hurt?
* Will the giver and receiver be better off after this is said?
* Do these words reflect the attitude of Jesus Christ? …. Read this in full at
http://www.preaching.com/leadership/11636121/

MY KINGDOM
A little kingdom I possess,
Where thoughts and feelings dwell;
And very hard the task I find
Of governing it well…

I do not ask for any crown
But that which all may win;
Nor try to conquer any world
Except the one within.
Louisa May Alcott

TELLING KIDS ABOUT FAITH IN AN AGE OF DOUBT
by Bruce Feiler
Not long ago, Eden, one of my 5-year-old twin daughters, bounded into my lap at bedtime and asked me if I would read her a book, “Bagels From Benny.” I had never seen this book before, nor had my wife. (I learned later it was a gift from her grandmother.) In the story, written by Aubrey Davis, Benny adores his grandfather’s bagels so much he wants to thank God for them. He takes a bag of bagels to the synagogue, places them in the ark, and asks God to taste his bounty.

I had not read more than a few pages when Eden looked at me and asked, “Daddy, if I speak to God, will he listen?” I froze. I was so completely unprepared for the question. In my panic, I had three quick thoughts. First, Who told you about God? I certainly hadn’t initiated the conversation, and I thought I knew everything she had learned in school.

Second, I should be able to nail this question. I had spent a dozen years tracing biblical stories around the world and had written four books about God. Surely I had learned something. Third, and more important, I didn’t want to say anything that I would have to unsay later. In other words, I didn’t want to lie to her just because she was a child.

For all the brouhaha over religion in the United States the last few years, Americans’ views on God have remained remarkably stable…. Read this in full at
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/17/fashion/17ThisLife.html

CRYSTAL CATHEDRAL FILES FOR BANKRUPTCY
Crystal Cathedral Ministries, which owes about $7.5 million to unsecured creditors, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Oct. 18, according to the Orange County Register. Earlier this year, the megachurch founded by television evangelist Robert H. Schuller slashed several programs and laid off 50 employees to cut $4.9 million from its $20 million annual operating budget. The Register reports that Senior Pastor Sheila Schuller Coleman said the bankruptcy filing was a necessity because of lawsuits…. Read this in full at
http://blog.christianitytoday.com/ctliveblog/archives/2010/10/crystal_cathedr_1.html

SEEKING GODLY COUNSEL
“In the early 1990s, I was in the process of recuperating from a time of burnout and over-commitment. At my lowest point during that season of extreme exhaustion – when I was emotionally fried — a business friend of mine from out of state made an offer for me to join his company. It was an exciting and lucrative offer, and I truly thought that God might be calling me to leave church work and re-enter the marketplace.

“I was quite confident that I had heard God’s voice, but there was still the nagging “godly counsel test,” which I’d conveniently ignored.

“Somewhat begrudgingly, I called together a few spiritual mentors and other people whose opinions and perspectives I genuinely trust, and who understood my current state of exhaustion. I described the offer I was considering, then sat back and listened to their response.

“They begged me to rest up, heal up and get my wits about me before taking even one more step. I will forever be grateful that I heeded their wise advice. Within a couple of months I did get healthier, and I began to see things more clearly. As I fell in love with my ministry role once more, I realized how much I would have missed if I had gotten that one decision wrong.

“Subject every prompting to the godly counsel test. It will save you from boatloads of heartache and just might affirm God’s best will for your life.”
Bill Hybels, in the book The Power of a Whisper

COMMUNION AND COLESLAW
In his latest Church and Culture newsletter, James Emery White reminds us that we may be “preaching to the choir” and missing a substantial audience that lacks basic references to understand what we are saying. His thoughts were prompted by a note from an attender at his church who wondered if she should bring a covered dish to this Lord’s Supper she heard about. Jim writes:

“An announcement about the celebration of the Lord’s Supper made someone wonder if she needed to bring coleslaw. I don’t know about you, but I think Jesus is really, really fond of this person and loves all that she doesn’t know and is excited about her journey. As a pastor, I am overwhelmed that God would trust me with such people. In fact, our church is currently experiencing more than 70 percent of our total growth from the unchurched, and I thank God for that ridiculous percentage daily. It makes everything just raw fun.

“But in truth, this is not a situation unique to a church that is reaching the unchurched, because this woman is far from alone. You may be aware of the recent study that found an alarming spiritual illiteracy in our nation. What was revealed? That when it comes to religion, people don’t know much. Only 19% of all Protestants know that salvation comes through faith alone, not works; 45% could not name the four gospels; 55% know the Golden Rule is not one of the Ten Commandments; and to add insult to injury, atheists scored better on the test than people of faith.

“It made me reflect on how those who teach and lead in Christian settings tend to assume people know a great deal more than they actually do. Specifically, I find that the typical Christian speaker assumes a level of knowledge that is only found in a very small sub-culture within the Christian community — namely the group that can rattle off memorized verses and marriage/family ‘Dobsonisms,’ know about L’abri and the Eagle and Child Pub, subscribe to Christianity Today and listen to the local Christian radio station.

“Or if a younger clientele is at hand, the group that can cite Donald Millerisms, comment on the latest Catalyst conference, play the latest David Crowder Band song on their iPods and…well, you get my point.

“In other words, less than 1% of the Christian population. (I made up that percentage, but I doubt I’m far off).

“When Christian pastors and leaders speak to this group, they fail to realize that it is a very small strata of ‘informed’ people who do not represent the mainstream; and I don’t mean the secular mainstream. I mean the Christian mainstream.”…. Read this in full at
http://www.churchandculture.org/Blog.asp?ID=306

VERSE TO PONDER
“You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word.”
Psalm 119:114

CONSIDER
“To love God is something greater than to know him.”
Thomas Aquinas

BLACK PREACHERS WHO ‘WHOOP’ — MINSTRELS OR MINISTERS?
The Rev. E. Dewey Smith Jr. bangs on the pulpit with his fist. He shuts his eyes and moans. Then a high-pitched sound rises from his throat like the wail of a boiling tea-kettle.

“I wish you’d take the brakes off and let me preach,” he tells his congregation during his Sunday morning sermon.

Rows of parishioners stand to shout. One woman in a satiny blue dress jumps up and down like she’s on a pogo stick. A baby starts to cry.

Smith had already given his congregation the “meat” of his message: scriptural references, archaeological asides, modern application — all the fancy stuff he learned in seminary. Now he was about to give them the gravy.
It was the time to “whoop.”…. Read this in full and watch the video at
http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/10/20/whooping/index.html?hpt=C1

INTERVIEW: GABE LYONS ON THE END OF CHRISTIAN AMERICA
Young evangelical leader Gabe Lyons believes that the death of Christian America is a good thing because it makes way for a new generation of believers, which he calls the Next Christians. The Christian Post met up with Lyons, co-founder of the Catalyst conference and co-author of UnChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks about Christianity and Why it Matters, at the recent Catalyst conference in Atlanta to discuss his new book, The Next Christians: The Good News About the End of Christian America. The book takes an optimistic look at the next generation of American Christians that seeks to engage the world and restore all parts of society as God intended when He created the universe. The following are excerpts from the interview:

Q: Why do you think the end of Christian America would not result in a spiritual vacuum like in Europe? What makes America different?
A: I think the end of Christian America, as I’m describing it, is really an end of the last few decades of a sort of Christian dominance in the power and position of culture, mostly the political sector. When you look at the Religious Right, you see over the last 30 years how much that has dominated how Christians see the world. That has driven cultural perception.

The reason why (America’s Christianity) is different [than
Europe’s] is because the church is alive in America. The church is not like in Europe where the church is not a part of the vibrant fabric of society. In America it is very much alive and part of society…. Read this in full at
http://www.christianpost.com/article/20101011/interviewgabe-lyons-on-end-of-christian-america/

HOW REAL IS AMERICA’S FAITH?
by Stanley Hauerwas
The British, I have discovered, assume that Americans are more religious than they are. That presumption seems justified in the light of Ed Miliband’s declared atheism. As yet no one running for high political office in the US has been willing so to identify themselves. Indeed, it seems to be a requirement of political office in America that you believe in God. Americans seem to think those who rule us must believe in God because, if they do not, they cannot be “moral” — which means they will cheat on their spouses, thus destroying the family, which will bring civilization to an end.

Yet I remain unconvinced that the difference between Britain and the US, when it comes to religion, can be determined by the faith or lack of it of those in public office. In fact, I am not convinced that the US is more religious than Britain. Even if more people go to church in America, I think the US is a much more secular country than Britain. In Britain, when someone says they do not believe in God, they stop going to church. In the US, many who may have doubts about Christian orthodoxy may continue to go to church. They do so because they assume that a vague god vaguely prayed to is the god that is needed to support family and nation.
…. Read this in full at
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2010/oct/16/faith-america-secular-britain

DONATIONS DROPPED 11% AT NATION’S BIGGEST CHARITIES LAST YEAR
Donations to the nation’s biggest charities dropped 11% last year, a decline that was the worst in the two decades since The Chronicle of Philanthropy started its Philanthropy 400 ranking of the organizations that raise the most from private sources.

Nonprofit organizations say they don’t expect to have done much better by the time 2010 ends. More than one in four of the groups provided projections for 2010, and the median change they predicted was an increase of just 1.4%.

The 400 institutions in the survey raised $68.6 billion in 2009. The drop they suffered in contributions was nearly four times as great as the next biggest annual decrease: 2.8% in 2001, when charities also struggled to raise money from recession-battered donors…. Read this in full at
http://philanthropy.com/article/A-Sharp-Donation-Drop-at-Big/125004/

IN CHURCH OR IN PRINT, FORMER PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER STILL PREACHES POLICY
On those scattered weekends when Jimmy Carter isn’t out enforcing Middle East harmony or slaying Guinea worms or compensating for presidential malaise with ex-presidential vim, the 86-year-old can be found in Sunday school.

Carter wants to teach so much about the Lord and about himself these days, unraveling Scripture, repairing legacies, straining to convince others that it is he — not his detractors, the ones who looked down on him — who knows the path to a better world. The faithful and the curious flock to listen, pilgrims to a deep South shrine to all things Jimmy. They pass through peanut and cotton fields on their way to this town of 600, rolling by a museum that was once Billy Carter’s old service station and down a two-lane country road where they come to a stop just beyond another gas station that boasts a giant peanut statue out front.

Carter will walk his would-be apostles through holy texts, but he also will coax them to absorb his worldview, an outlook that values human rights and good works, just as it gazes disapprovingly at so much of what is around him. On this particular Sunday at Maranatha Baptist Church, a lesson about emulating Christ meanders into a critique of anti-immigrant sentiment. “There are some people who make their career out of condemning Mexicans and South Americans,” he observes in that soft, familiar Southern voice…. Read this in full at
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/17/AR2010101703061.html

POLISH TOWN BUILDING WORLD’S LARGEST CHRIST STATUE
A small Polish town has sought to place itself on the global tourist map by building the world’s largest statue of Jesus, eclipsing Rio’s famous Christ the Redeemer.

Swiebodzin, a Polish town of 21,000 near the German border, will soon be home to a 33-metre effigy of Christ, which, along with a crown that adds a further two metres and its 16-metre mound will put all other statues dedicated to the son of God in its shade.

Due for completion in November, the monument should pip the world’s current record holder, Bolivia’s Cristo de la Concodia statue, by some nine metres, and look down on the world famous statue in Rio de Janeiro, which stands just 30 metres tall minus its plinth…. Read this in full at
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/poland/8070947/Poland-to-build-worlds-largest-Jesus-Christ-statue.html

NEVER QUIT — CHRISTIAN MEN’S NETWORK CHALLENGES GLOBAL LEADERS TO MAXIMIZE FOR CRISIS AND INFLUENCE
In a time filled with crisis and economic uncertainties, there is a need for true leaders. “Crisis is the natural result of change,” said the late Dr. Edwin Louis Cole in his book Winners Are Not Those Who Never Fail but Those Who NEVER QUIT! “Crisis is normal to life,” states Cole, and furthermore, ‘Crisis is not failure. It is only the process.” During his 50-plus years of ministry, Dr. Cole taught hundreds of thousands of men the secrets of “Maximized Manhood.” Dozens of church leaders, as well as acclaimed film stars such as Chuck Norris claimed Dr. Ed Cole as mentor and motivator. Eight years after Dr. Cole’s death, the work continues across the globe.

At the upcoming Lions Roar 2010 Global Men’s Summit of Christian Men’s Network in Dallas, Texas, November 1-3, leaders from over 20 nations will be meeting to discuss ways to train and help men to maximize their abilities and influence. Political and national issues will be addressed, Monday Nov. 1st, by Dr. Jim Garlow, Chairman of ReAL (Renewing America Leadership). ReAL is a non-profit organization established by Former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, to address America’s leadership crisis…. Read this in full at
http://christiannewswire.com/news/3773415277.html

CONSIDER
“God wants us to approach life, full of expectancy that God is going to be at work in every situation as we release our faith in Him.”
Colin Urquhart

VERSE TO PONDER
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
James 1:22

THIS WEEK’S HYMN: ABLE TO DELIVER
Words: Fanny Crosby, 1899
Music: Ira D. Sankey

O troubled heart, be thou not afraid,
In the Lord thy God, let thy hope be stayed;
He will hear thy cry and will give thee aid,
Whate’er thy cross may be.

Refrain
He is able still to deliver thee,
And His own right hand thy defense shall be:
He is able still to deliver thee,
Then be thou not afraid.

O troubled heart, tho’ thy foes unite,
Let thy faith be strong and thy armor bright;
Thou shalt overcome thro’ His pow’r and might,
And more than conqu’ror be.
Refrain

O troubled heart, when thy way is drear,
He will rescue thee and dispel thy fear;
In thy greatest need He is always near,
To Him all glory be.
Refrain

>from NetHymnal at
http://nethymnal.org/htm/a/b/able2del.htm

ON PRAYER
“We must learn to pray out of our weaknesses so that God can become our strength.”
Joan Chittister

PRAY FOR PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS TODAY
http://christiansincrisis.net/

DAILY BLESSING PACT
Use the following list as your daily prayer guide. Think of a brother or situation that applies and lift them up in prayer.

I am agreeing in prayer with you for God’s blessings to overtake you!

PERSONAL
Marital harmony
Family unity
Children saved
Faithful pastor
Spirit-filled church
Real friendships
Relatives redeemed
Educational benefits
Recreational time
Fulfilling career
Favor with God and man
Be in God’s will

FINANCIAL
Better Jobs
Raises or bonuses
Benefits
Sales & commissions
Business Growth
Settlements
Estates & inheritances
Investment increase
Rebates & returns
Checks in the mail
Gifts & surprises
Money to be found
Bills decrease while blessings increase

“And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God” (Deut. 28:2).

[As you travel on business or vacation, let me know if you’d like
us to add you to our prayer
chain
to pray for your safety and spiritual
effectiveness. I’ll add your name to the list for the time you’ll be
away.]

CLASSIFIEDS
Are you looking for something or do you have something to sell? Let me know and I’ll put it in this newsletter.

Book your next vacation with us!
http://www.ChristianConnectionTravel.com

Books, Music & More!
http://www.ChristianConnectionBooks.com

Get your domain name here!
http://www.GoGlobalDomains.com

Let me show you how to earn money as you travel!
http://www.earnGlobalVacations.com/
It’s as easy as 1-2-3!

SHARE YOUR FAVORITE WEBSITES
Tell us what sites you find enjoyable and why.

Dr. Walt Larimore
http://www.drwalt.com/blog/

All About God
http://www.allaboutgod.com/

John Calvin
http://www.john-calvin.org/

All links to websites are provided as a service, and do not imply endorsement by this ministry.

(BTW: whenever the URLs in this newsletter are too long to turn into links on your e-mail program, just copy the entire URL (two lines or more) and paste it into a temporary email message. Then delete the return in the middle of it and copy it again. Then paste it into your web browser and hit enter.)

Your child needs your love the most when they deserve it the least.
Min. Frank Coleman, Editor
Rev.frank

Thanks for welcoming CONNECTIONS into your in-box!

The CONNECTIONS Team offers a variety of activities for men to interact with other men on our journey of faith in Christ together. Large group, small group, and one-to-one events encourage relationship building and spiritual strengthening that result in maximizing the potential we all have in Christ.
Contact Min. Frank Coleman, 773-410-1483, frank@frankcoleman.com if you’d like to participate in a men’s discipleship program.
Path Of Life Ministries is located in Chicago, IL.
Visit our website at: http://www.pathoflifeministries.net/

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